The Musician's Life - lecture and musical performance by Nikolaos Xanthoulis - November 12

“The Musician’s Life”

by Dr. Nikolaos Xanthoulis

Sunday, November 12 at 2:00 pm at the Penn Museum
Reception to follow
Free and open to the public

In 1935 four wooden votive paintings were discovered inside a deep cave near the village of Pitsa in Greece and are now exhibited in the Greek National Archaeological Museum; they are the earliest surviving examples of Greek panel painting, dated to 540-530 BC.  In his lecture, Dr. Nikolaus Xanthoulis will examine a painting that depicts a sacrificial procession to the nymphs that includes musicians playing the lyre and aulos (a reed pipe).  Dr. Xanthoulis will examine the details of the musicians and their instruments, and the significance of the symbolic naming of the women that participate in the procession.  After the lecture, Dr. Xanthoulis will present a small concert with poems of the 6th century BC set in music by him to ancient Greek prosody, and accompanied by a seven-chord ancient Greek lyre replica (the same type of lyre as depicted in the painting)

Nikolaus Xanthoulis is with the Greek National Opera, and has served as Music Researcher with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, and as Artistic Director of the Orchestras and Choir of Greek Public Radio & Television.  He holds his degrees from the Sofia Music Academy (Ph.D.), the Panteion University of Athens, and the Athens and Athenaeum Conservatories.  His fields of research are the music of ancient Greece, the ancient Greek trumpet (Salpinx) and lyre, and the performance of ancient Greek lyric songs; his current project is the revival of the ancient Greek lyre and ancient Greek culture.

The lecture will take place at the Penn Museum on Sunday, November 12, 2017.  It will begin at 2:00 PM, followed by a reception, and is free and open to the public; please use the Kress Entrance on the east side of the Museum when entering.  The lecture is part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s National Lecture Program, and funding for it has been provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in New York, which strives to support the work of scholars in the fields of ancient art.

Lecture: "The Religious Center of the City of Knossos" - Thursday, November 2, 2017

“The Religious Center of the City of Knossos:
Excavations of a Plot in the Modern Village”

Dr. Athanasia Kanta

Director Emerita, 23rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities
Director of the Study Center of Cretan and Mediterranean Archaeology at Monastiraki Amari, Rethymnon

Thursday, November 2, 2017
5:30 pm reception, 6:00 pm lecture

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum
3260 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Excavations at the upper village of Knossos in recent years have brought to light the religious center of the town. Our rescue excavation took place for a few months in 2011 and 2012 and then continuously from 2013 to March 2017. A total of 525 square meters have been excavated to a maximum depth of 8.5 m.

Although the area gave a hint that remains of a cultic character might be expected, nothing prepared us for the diachronic evidence of cult from the Protopalatial period (1900 BC) to the Roman period (2nd century AD) and perhaps later. Architectural finds combined with sculpture and artifacts of precious metals clearly indicate the way cultural tradition is transmitted through the centuries.

This lecture is sponsored by:

INSTAP Study Center for East Crete
Center for Ancient Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Group in Ancient History, University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania
Archaeological Institute of America, Philadelphia Chapter
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

International Archaeology Day at Penn Museum - Saturday, October 21

International Archaeology Day
at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Saturday, October 21, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Celebrate the Penn Museum’s newest exhibition Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America, and learn more about the real work of archaeology, in North America and around the world at this special event co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Philadelphia Society. Meet archaeologist and Moundbuilders curator Megan Kassabaum and other Penn Museum researchers. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM), where archaeologists and other scholars are making new discoveries about the ancient past via analyses of ceramics, metallurgy, faunal and skeletal remains, and more.

For further information, please consult the Penn Museum website.

Vanessa Davies lecture 3/30/17

This talk looks at the understanding of ancient Egyptian culture in the works of three prominent black writers of the early 20th century. W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey both incorporated a vision of ancient Egyptian culture into their writings. Attacking a common theory of their day, they used ancient Egyptian culture to argue for the humanity of black people, and they marshalled the evidence of Egypt’s glorious past to inspire black people in the Americas with feelings of hope and self-worth. They also engaged with the contemporary work of prominent archaeologists, a fact that has been lost in most histories of Egyptology.

Pauline Hopkins’ novel Of One Blood places the reality of the racial discrimination and the racial “passing” of her day against the backdrop of ancient Egypt. The drama that plays out in the lives of her contemporary American characters is set against the backdrop of an ancient city which the characters encounter still thriving on the site of MeroĆ« in what is today the Sudan. Hopkins uses her fictional world to address contemporary social realities. Like Du Bois, she advocates for the education of black Americans, and like Garvey, she constructs an African safe haven for her novel’s protagonist.

Understanding these three writers’ treatments of ancient Egypt gives us a richer perspective on the history of the discipline of Egyptology.

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

Challis, Debbie. The Archaeology of Race: The eugenic ideas of Francis Galton and Flinders Petrie. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.
Gillman, Susan. Blood Talk: American race melodrama and the culture of the occult. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Keita, Maghan. Race and the Writing of History: Riddling the sphinx. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Knight, Alisha. Pauline Hopkins and the American Dream: An African American writer’s (re)visionary gospel of success. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2012.
Moses, Wilson Jeremiah. Afrotopia: The roots of African American popular history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
O’Connor, David and Andrew Reid (eds). Ancient Egypt in Africa. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2003.
Trafton, Scott. Egypt Land: Race and nineteenth-century American egyptomania. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.